October 29, 2021

The Future Is: Pets as People

The Future Is… Pets as People

We Americans adore our pets: 67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, enjoy at least one furry companion. Last year, we spent a steep $104 billion on them, but that makes sense: Everything we do to ensure our own well-being as humans we now want to do for our animals. We want them to have long, strong, happy, and healthy lives. Here’s a closer look at all the new ways we coddle these companions.

Now: Connected Pets

What’s Fresh: Apps and wearables aren’t just for humans. The Wagz Freedom Collar is a device that monitors a pooch’s activity, location, and health; the Pet Diabetes Tracker records vital wellness info and prompts pet parents to monitor glucose; the Bark Happy app seamlessly sets up local pet playdates; while Doggo automates dog training. Perhaps the most humanlike of all is Petpuls’ technologically advanced dog collar. Fueled by AI, it promises to analyze the sounds made by dogs and translate them into signals that owners can understand – allowing us to enter an era of actual conversation with our canines.

How It Changes the Game: When it comes to apps, wearables, and implantables, your target audience just soared: There are 76 million dogs and 58 million cats in the U.S. in need of your products.

3 Action Steps for Brands:

  • Understand and activate on pet owners’ need to know every aspect of their animal’s biodata.
  • Build out a full ecosystem of services for your pet brand and find a pet telehealth partner.
  • Play a pioneering role in tech development for dogs and cats; host a tech challenge or sponsor an incubator.


NOW: Pet Hyper-Performance

What’s Fresh: Biohacking isn’t just for humans. The way we’re maximizing our own performance is being adapted for our furry best friends. For instance, there’s Myos Canine Muscle Formula to “accelerate gains in muscle mass, improve mobility, and enhance recovery from injury.” EverRoot supplements are blended with organic coconut oil rich in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), plus turmeric and tart cherry to support the brain health of dogs. Front of the Pack’s The One daily supplement offers GMO- and gluten-free nutrients engineered to alleviate stress and anxiety while promoting mental sharpness.

How It Changes the Game: Keeping a pet in good health is yesterday’s goal. Now, it’s about raising the bar to new heights of physical condition and mental acuity.

3 Action Steps for Brands:

  • Mine your data to understand pet owners’ goals for their animals’ health, then overdeliver on optimization.
  • No label mysteries: Educate your customer on how key ingredients maximize pet performance.

Activate you brand where your consumers are seeking better pet performance: dog parks, gyms, competitions, and meetups to engage.


NEXT: Pet Longevity and Beyond

What’s Emerging: The quest for longer, healthier lives won’t just focus on us humans; it will apply to our pets, too. Animal Biosciences (founded by famed longevity expert Dr. David Sinclair) is developing the first proven treatments to extend “healthspan” in companion animals by reducing cellular aging and radically raising regeneration rates. Elsewhere, Texas A&M just conducted research that found that 10 weeks of metformin treatment improved animals’ cognitive and memory function. Beyond that, we’ll find cutting-edge ways to keep our beloved pets always by our side: ViaGen Pets & Equine offers animal cloning and conservation efforts, cloning an endangered Przewalski’s horse for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and replicating pet Pomeranians for owners.

How It Creates the Future: No longer will we talk about “dog years” versus “human years.” These will become the same measure as science shows us how to keep our pets forever young.

3 Things to Prepare for:

  • Invest in the science of pet longevity and its consumerization.
  • Elevate storytelling about super-ager pets; acknowledge the human need to have our animals with us longer.
  • Consider where else pets can live forever – is your pet brand represented in the metaverse?